We’re still looking at David’s and the other Israelites’ giving for the building of the Temple: “King David turned to the entire assembly and said, ‘Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for His holy Temple. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?’
Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy” (I Chronicles 29:2a, 3, 5b-6, 9, NLT).
First, look at the extent of David’s giving: “Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could…” But that was merely what David had access to as king.
David wanted to personally give, too: “I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver…” How much did David give? “All.”
And what was his reason for giving so generously? “Because of my devotion to the Temple of my God.” David wasn’t giving “to the Temple” – he was giving “to the Temple of my God.” David had an intimate relationship with the Lord. The Temple was personal to David because his God was his personal Savior.
David used his giving as a means of expressing his love for the Lord. Whether we realize it or not, we do the same thing today. We give or spend money on the things that matter most to us. When the Lord gets the scraps or nothing, that’s exactly where we’ve ranked Him in our priorities.
Remember what I said yesterday about Malachi 3’s warning about blessings or cursings according to your giving to the Lord? Years ago I had a friend tell me their income was “too much to tithe on.” My response was, “You can’t afford not to.”
My friend, at best, was a reluctant giver. But look at the people of Israel: “Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly.”
Their giving was done “willingly.” And their response to their giving? “The people rejoiced.”
They “had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord.” Don’t miss that last part: “to the Lord.” Not to the Temple. Not to King David. Not to the Temple treasury. “To the Lord.”
David’s giving prompted others to give. When the others gave, “David was filled with joy.”
Generosity is joyful and contagious. Catch it and pass it on.
“Chesterton wrote, ‘There are two ways to get enough; one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.’ How does this translate into our worship life as Christians? If thoughts of material things command the greater part of our attention and energy, can we really be serving and worshipping the Master as we should? I find that as I ascribe worth and honour to our loving and sovereign God, He allows me to desire less of the distractions, less of the other gods. But the struggle for the throne continues.” (Chip Stam)
Copyright © 2013
Judy Woodward Bates